I just spun a CFO IV and it is sitting before me. The paper line sticker inside says I mounted a line on it in 1986, the reel may be a year or two older than that. It has the T pillar but is stamped not engraved, built no doubt during the transition toward saving money on features "no one will notice". [The "great" CFO's were post the screwed in spindle of the first generation models, which did loosen, but still had the originals "T" pillar drilled for the nickel silver line guard, not the straight blind pillar, but were engraved not stamped. Circa 1980.] It has round not slotted ports in the foot and a bakelite (black plastic) handle with a domed mounting bolt. It, of course, is a casting and, though I prefer my modern reels to be machined and anodized, Hardy knew how to elegantly cast a fly reel. This reel features the buttery feel (it is in very good condition but well broken in) much beloved about these reels. This IV has a WFL5F line on it and looks awful small to me...I suppose I have gotten used to larger arbor reels as I use Nautilus FWX's or Hardy's own U DD's where, 30 years ago, I used this CFO. I do look forward to seeing this Abel-built CFO and am confident it will be a technological up-grade from the old one before me. But I think I will just keep this one for sentimental purposes; it landed some fine fish on the Delaware and Henrys Fork in its day, and opt for a Super 5N, in guide finish black with the metal handle instead.
A brace of my earliest CFO's; note the screw mount for the spindle on the IV and the elongated latch lever on the diminutive II, both signs of first generation models.